Stylo, the parent company behind footwear chains Barratts and Priceless, saw losses widen from £7.5 million to £9.3m over the first half of the year.
Stylo’s sales rose 5.7% to £105.7m for the 26 weeks to August 2, equating to a like-for-like sales decline of 3.2% because of a poor summer.
Stylo said that costs, including rent, rates and wages, continued to increase faster than the levels of turnover and margin at the group over the period.
Stylo chairman and chief executive Michael Ziff said the business had been the victim of exceptionally difficult retail conditions: “The loss for the period is a reflection of the exceptionally difficult retail and economic climate in which we operate.”
Ziff added: “The board are conscious of a number of material uncertainties surrounding future performance, which are driven by the state of the UK economy and the prospect for a prolonged period of reduced consumer spending. The economic circumstances can be considered somewhat extreme but these are the conditions in which we are operating. As such it is harder than usual to assess the impact of these conditions on our plans but the board have taken mitigating actions to address the potential for reduced sales below current expectations.”
Stylo is in the process of repositioning its Barratts chain to target a more family based customer. It hired Office founder Richard Wharton as a consultant to advise on product and positioning. It unveiled its new look store concept within Westfield London yesterday. it carries a mixture of own label product and brands including Lotus and Hush Puppies.
For a full breakdown of cost increases and new strategy implementation see the attached document.